Media Divide Wall Street and 'Main Street'

As economic issues move to the front of the on-going presidential campaign, the mainstream media have given an increased amount of coverage to what is happening on Wall Street. However, they have portrayed Wall Street as something completely alien to what happens on "Main Street."

"Now to Wall Street, which, as you know, doesn't always like what Main Street likes, and by the end of the trading day, it was up," NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams said on Oct. 31, 2007.

But something positive on Wall Street and something positive for Main Street are not mutually exclusive.

"The truth is, so-called Wall Street is nothing less than America's financial faith in the future economy - pensions, college funds, venture capital, business loans, mortgages and much more," said Pete Sepp, vice president of the National Taxpayers Union.

Still, that is often not recognized in the media.

"[T]he Dow at 13,000 - Wall Street's up, but what about Main Street?" Chris Matthews asked on the April 29, 2007 "The Chris Matthews Show." "Will the Democrats do something about the skyrocketing gap between the super-rich and everyone else?"

But, Main Street America sees tangible results from investment.

"Wall Street provides the financing to allow people to take risk," said Dr. Gary Wolfram, an economics professor at Hillsdale College and a Business & Media Institute adviser. "It allows for the financing for people to start a new business, to be innovative. I mean, if you didn't have Wall Street, you wouldn't have a computer sitting on your desk."